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March 13, 2006

Telegraph Watch

A report on a wonderful British Rail patent:

In 1970, rail managers envisioned a "Space Vehicle" which would be economical to run and reach high speeds in space.

The idea, mooted by inventor Charles Osmond Frederick, was unearthed by a student browsing the European Patent Office website.

The patent describes how the ship would have been fired by a controlled thermonuclear fusion reaction ignited by laser beams, but experts have rubbished the idea, saying that this bizarre fusion process does not exist.

You could have read the same story here 6 months ago. Or, as detailed in the comments there, 20 years ago in The Guardian.

TheTimes is also 6 months behind this blog.

And The Guardian.

What really amuses me about the three pieces is that they are all bylined by journalists at each of the papers. Yet all of them contain the same quotes from the same people. This is clearly an AP or Reuters report, one of their people having picked it up from somewhere. And the three papers all run it as if it is something that they have found, reported on.

What was Ian Mayes’ last column about? Attribution of wire service stories.

Tsk, Tsk.

March 13, 2006 in Telegraph Watch. | Permalink


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This wouldn't be one of those cases of "it isn't news 'til we report it" would it?

Posted by: B's Freak | Mar 14, 2006 3:05:37 PM